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Art Index Newsletter | March 2016

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

We are pleased to reveal our newly designed website for Art Index Pty Ltd!

We’re quite proud of it but we know there’s still work to do. In the coming months we hope to continue improving the site so that it best serves how we communicate with you.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, we wanted to make our new website faster, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. We are now using a responsive design, which means that you’ll see essentially the same design optimized for your smart phone, tablet and desktop.

One of our main goals we wanted to achieve when designing the new site was to help our clients get to know us better and get a feel for who we are as a company. By browsing the About us, Rentals and Testimonials page we hope you’ll get a pretty good idea of who we are, what we do and what some of our clients say about us. In News, you’ll find links to our upcoming events, seminars, competitions, event photos and more.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to register your details on the Contact page and join our Art Index community to keep up to date with the latest happenings.

We hope the easy to use layout gives you the opportunity to take the first steps into how fine art can benefit you both visually and financially.

Art Market Proves to be a Distinctive Asset Class

In this edition you’ll receive an insight into:

  • The continued growth in the domestic art market and the key market players

  • An international spark in the Aboriginal art market

  • More global records broken

  • Art Index Exhibitions this year – Sydney & Singapore

  • News from our Art Rental Department

Domestic News

Although the Australian art market is dwarfed by major global players in the US, Europe and China, it has proven its stability & its continuing opportunities.

In 2015, the total turnover through Australian auction houses was $110.27million – a 3.8% increase on 2014 yielding another year of consecutive growth. The clearance rate remains at 68%.

The auction houses and how they ranked (total by auction house 2015) All prices include buyer’s premium

  • Menzies - $31.577 million

  • Sotheby’s Australia - $27.39 million

  • Deutscher and Hackett - $16.53 million

  • Mossgreen - $13.5 million

  • Bonhams - $6.1 million

Top Performing Artists

The top three auction results for 2015 all came from Sotheby’s. Fred Williams’ 1964 oil on board “Trees and Hillsides” sold for $1.7 million (image below), followed by works by Arthur Boyd for $1.58 million and Sidney Nolan for $1.15 million.

Aboriginal Art Shines Again!

The aboriginal art market recorded its best year since the peaks of 2007/8. The total secondary market sales finished at $12.8million.

One highlight of the auction calendar was the second sale of the Laverty Collection. The Deutscher & Hackett auction held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney was a great success with a clearance rate of 99%. 166 lots were snapped up grossing $3.4million, well over expectations.

Global Spark - Aboriginal art is globally recognised as a valuable and important insight into our planet’s rich cultural heritage and celebrates our valued indigenous history. Sotheby's London, conducted the first of two sales, of Dutch department store heir, Thomas Vroom’s significant collection of aboriginal canvases, barks, shields and carvings. The collection went under the hammer in June with a number of pieces attracting record breaking prices. Most notable were:

Ningura Napparula’s “Woman's Birth Site at the Rockhole Site of Wirrulnga” sold for $154,644 beating her previous record of $113,018.

Naata Nungurrayi's “The Rockhole and Soakage Water Site of Marrapinti, 2001” sold for $216,000 equalling her auction record.

Mr Vroom first encountered Aboriginal art in a London Soho gallery in 1991. For several decades he loaned works to important European institutions for display in a bid to facilitate greater understanding of the art movement. The sale was seen by many as a significant success on the world stage.

Back home, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa missed out in breaking his auction record by a whisker with “Kumpuralgna, 1996” selling for $79,773 at Menzies sale in December (image below).

The Global Art Market 2015

The boom in the international art market continued in 2015. According to the 2015 The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) Art Market Report, the total value of the art market surged past $51billion in 2014. With several records broken in 2015 the market is showing no signs of slowing down in 2016.

Pablo Picasso's ‘Les Femmes d'Alger (Version ‘O') (1955)’ became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction when it changed hands for $179 million at Christie's New York in May (image right).

The world record was followed closely by the sale of Picasso’s contemporary, Amadeo Modigliani's ‘Nu Couché (1917-1918)’ which hammered down at $170 million at Christie's New York in November, becoming the second-most expensive artwork ever sold at auction (image below).

Art Index – Upcoming Exhibitions in 2016

Jason Benjamin – ‘Balentes: Life of an Ancient Soul' Sydney

Well-known and critically acclaimed Australian artist Jason Benjamin was a popular winner of the Archibald Packing Room Prize in 2005. As well as being named as a finalist in the Archibald Prize six times, including the last three consecutive years, he’s also won numerous prizes such as the Kings School Art Prize and has been a finalist in many other awards across the country including the Mosman and the Doug Moran Art Prizes.

Jason has produced a series of paintings following his recent trip to Sardinia with documentary filmmaker Lisa Camillo and Sacha Clemens from Art Index. Lisa has produced a documentary film “Balentes”, drawing attention to a contamination disaster and its human impact on the island of Sardinia. Benjamin’s paintings provide an emotional reflection on the cultural, ecological and personal survival and continues his work with landscapes, which has over a long period applied the idea of the land as a narrative platform for emotion.

The evening’s proceedings will include a presentation by Lisa Camillo about her documentary film Balentes, a viewing of an extended trailer for the film, as well as a talk from art specialist Brenda Colahan. Our invite will be available shortly. If you wish to receive an invite please register and send us a message via our website.

Our Corporate Rental

Art Index’s Rental team are enormously grateful to all of our valued clients who have allowed us to curate art displays in line with their corporate identity.

With 2016 now in full swing we would like to acknowledge all the wonderful contributions our corporate partners have made by embracing art as a way of making visual statements and encouraging creative work environments.

Many companies are opting to use our art rental services as they realise the advantages in renting premium quality art. We are very proud to have recently curated and installed three beautiful works by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa titled ‘Bushfire Dreaming’ at Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF). TTF is a peak industry group for the Australian tourism, transport and aviation sectors, actively promoting Australian culture and heritage. We are particularly honoured to showcase these stunning indigenous artworks in their boardroom (image below). Art Index would like to say thank you to TTF and to all our corporate rental partners for their ongoing support. We look forward to continuing to assist you with our art rental services in 2016.

We’d also like to give special thanks to Jones Lang LaSalle, building managers for Darling Park Towers where our works have been enhancing the main lobby areas since 2012.

Our Corporate Rental Events

Many thanks to the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, La Camara and Swiss Chamber of Commerce for teaming up with Art Index in what resulted in a very successful art evening and networking event held at the prestigious 400 George Street, Sydney building, managed by Investa Property Group.

This, and all of our events are attended by many CEOs and directors of various professional organisations. Art Index showcased a variety of artworks with an educational & entertaining personal talk by Christabel Blackman - a restoration expert and contemporary artist. Christabel is the daughter of the iconic Australian artist Charles Blackman who painted one of the main artworks exhibited on the night titled, ‘Christabel with a Blue Bow’.

Corporate Rental Competitions

After each networking event, it is our usual practice to provide the opportunity for a corporate office to enjoy a six month free rental artwork of their choice. In this particular instance the lucky winner was Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, who is now enjoying a stunning indigenous work titled ‘Hairstring Dreaming’ by artist Judy Watson Napangardi.


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